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Bedford Grape Set - soup plate - 1815

Bedford Grape Set - soup plate, © Wedgwood Museum
    Bedford Grape Set - soup plate
    © Wedgwood Museum

Although Josiah I was extremely dubious about the business of producing armorial wares, by 1776 he had realised that this section of production was highly lucrative. As with other branches of his manufacture Wedgwood kept meticulous records for his factory artists, which also documented orders past and present, in this case in a series of crest books. This soup plate with Bedford grape pattern and armorial device of the Dukes of Bedford dates from 1809-1815.

Although Wedgwood’s association with the Duke of Bedford, had commenced as early as 1765, it was really from 1786 that our archive records in detail the various wares supplied to Woburn Abbey; his stately home. The first order for a creamware armorial service bearing the Bedford grape pattern was in February 1789 – but sadly the service seems to have disappeared. This soup plate is from a second set ordered by the Duke from Clewes of Edinburgh in 1815. This Queen's ware set is decorated with a hand-painted brown enamel grape border design and the Bedford crest of Lord William Russell, later the Duke of Bedford, which depicts a goat. The copper plate for bat printing is used for the outline of the crest before being over-painted by hand.

  • Type of object: Dinner ware/soup plate
  • Mark: D'
  • Year produced: 1815
  • Body: Queen's ware, cream-coloured earthenware
  • Material: ceramic
  • Decoration: hand-enamelled, hand-painted, bat printed
  • Accession number: 5418

Related people

  • Lord William Russell, Duke of Bedford Associated

    Lord William Russell, Duke of Bedford - Associated (1767 - 1840)

    The Wedgwood factory under Josiah I established a connection with the Dukes of Bedford as early as 1765, when Wedgwood detailed to Bentley how he had ‘…been three days hard and close at work taking patterns from a set of French china at the Duke of Bedfords…’ Following this the factory supplied a range of items from dairy ware through to crested wares for use at the Bedford’s ancestral home - Woburn Abbey.


  • Queen’s ware

    Queen’s ware

    In 1765 Wedgwood provided a tea and coffee service to Her Majesty Queen Charlotte (wife of George III) in the new earthenware body he had recently perfected. She was so pleased with the set that she not only allowed Josiah to style himself ‘Potter to Her Majesty’, she also allowed him to call his new earthenware ‘Queen’s ware’ - a name by which Wedgwood’s cream coloured earthenware is still known today.

  • Armorial ware

    Armorial ware

    Ware decorated with the coat of arms or the crest of the owner. The fashion derived from armorial engravings on silver, and enamelled Chinese export porcelain commissioned from Europe.